For those who may not know me, I am Prison Yoga Project’s Program Director in New Hampshire where I’ve been leading programs since 2018.
One of the great joys of the past year was launching, along with PYP Program Director and Trainer Chanda Williams, PYP’s first-ever yoga teacher training held outside a prison.
We’ve had the pleasure to offer yoga teacher training inside on more than one occasion, and we have several more opportunities to do so on the horizon. A yoga teacher training done on the inside has the potential to spark new peer-led programs and is a perfect vehicle for empowering incarcerated people to find their voice and become compassionate leaders. These skills translate well to any career when they are released.
In 2021, we chose to begin offering a 200-Hour yoga teacher training for people on the outside, too. We did so mainly because we want more formerly incarcerated people to join PYP as Facilitators. We also felt there is a lack of yoga teacher training focused on offering the practice outside the context of a studio as means of healing trauma and building resilience.
We’ll begin with a new cohort in January 2022. As we’ve always done for our training, we’ll be offering generous scholarships to make sure people who have been incarcerated, friends and family of incarcerated people, and others who have been “system-impacted” are in the room. These folks are the “credible messengers” who break ground to create access in communities that may otherwise not have access.
We are expecting to offer at least $40,000 in scholarship support for system-impacted trainees next year to bring this powerful healing work to their communities. Your support makes this possible.
Will you join us in this work by making a gift today? Your financial support will help us nurture leaders in the yoga community inside and outside of prisons. It will diversify who is in the room, who is able to practice, and where those practices are shared.
You can give online at www.prisonyoga.org/donate.
Blessings to you and your family for a healthy and prosperous New Year!
Trainer/Program Director – New Hampshire